Trump spokesperson Kellyanne Conway is off-the-charts good at what she does. If you care to witness a master class in denial, spin and gaslighting, just watch just some of her interview from the other night with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. And if after viewing it you feel like clawing your eyes out, perhaps this will cheer you up.
I don’t believe in Hell, but if it turns out to exist there will definitely be an extremely special section for her. But I digress.
Anyway, it seems clear that Ms. Conway is a very intelligent, well educated and highly skilled political operative. So for most of us it’s easy to conclude that she knows the truth, but is very intentionally setting out to mislead. That should be rather easy for any and all of us to judge quite harshly.
What is perhaps harder to see–and accept–is that many of us engage in our own Kellyanne moments; sometimes with great frequency. It’s just that the target of the denial, spin and gaslighting is often ourselves, and we do so unintentionally and subconsciously.
We can have an interesting argument as to how damaging the incoming Trump administration’s propensity for manipulation will turn out to be. We can debate the degree to which we might affect a different outcome and what tactics should be taken to stand up to this often dangerous and malicious nonsense. We can prop up our own egos by blogging, tweeting and posting on Facebook our various forms of righteous indignation. In fact, most days I wonder if that is precisely what social media was invented for.
But we shouldn’t discount how pernicious our own capacity to ignore reality is and how we can often do everything in our power to avoid confronting our own stuff.
Deflection and intellectual tap dancing my amuse or horrify when we spot in others, but we are only harming ourselves when we can’t wake up to the little bit of Kellyanne in all of us.